One Hundred Aspects of the Moon - Considered his masterwork, Yoshitoshi's series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon features one hundred oban size woodblocks, published between 1885 and 1892. These quiet and reflective prints, beautifully composed and drawn, feature subjects from traditional Japanese and Chinese history and legend, rendered with great sensitivity and emotion. The moon appears in all but a few prints, providing a unifying motif for the series.
Yoshitoshi's innovative designs for the Moon series are often elegantly spare, with simple backgrounds that focus attention on the human figure. He combines the western influences of realism and perspective with qualities from traditional Japanese and Chinese painting, such as the emphasis on calligraphic brushstroke. The figures are carefully drawn with beautiful linework, conveying a real sense of individual character, gesture, and emotion. Special printing techniques such as embossing and burnishing add a sumptuous touch where appropriate, but simple subjects are conveyed in a likewise manner, no less carefully observed.
Prints from the series were released singly or in groups every few months, with the final image completed shortly before Yoshitoshi's death. The series proved tremendously popular, with patrons lining up to purchase the new releases as soon as they became available. Today, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon remains Yoshitoshi's most well-known work, characterized by his artistry, compassion, and sensitivity in portraying the human experience.
Mountain Moon after Rain - This great Yoshitoshi print is an illustration of the story of the Sogo brothers, two brothers set on revenge for the death of their father. The image illustrates Goro Tokimune as a handsome young man right before he commits his act of revenge. The figure is beautifully drawn with incredible detail. Goro is seen clutching his sword. He has spotted a Japanese cuckoo flying in front of the crescent moon. The bird traditionally calls spirits into the next world- a foreshadowing of what is to occur. Yoshitoshi's design is captivating. The proud figure of Goro, the sliver of crescent moon, and the bird combine beautifully to illustrate this great Japanese tale. A fantastic Yoshitoshi design. Great artist's masterwork and terrific choice for someone interested in the samurai tradition.
Artist - Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892)
Image Size - 8 5/8" x 12 7/8" + margins as shown
Condition - This print with excellent color and detail as shown. Backed with old paper. Faint toning at edges. Please see photos for details. Good overall.